Sun | Jul 15, 2018

Countries step up fight against crime with fact-finding summit

Published:Monday | June 19, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Head of the European Union Delegation in Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, in discussion with Raymond Kelly, former NYPD commissioner, at the opening ceremony of the Multilateral Summit on Combating Crime in an Interconnected World.
Police Commissioner George Quallo (left) speaks with Nelson I. Delgado of the United States Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation during the opening ceremony of the Multilateral Summit on Combating Crime in an Interconnected World at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston last Thursday.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (right) speaks with (from left) Raymond Kelly, former NYPD commissioner; General Rosso Jose Serrano, security and International cooperation adviser for Colombia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Robert Montague, minister of national security, during the opening of the Multilateral Summit on Combating Crime in an Interconnected World.

National Security Minister Robert Montague told delegates during the opening day of a two-day multilateral summit in Kingston that international collaboration is a key part of putting an end to the imminent threat posed by multinational criminal organisations.

"Transnational criminal organisations have essentially taken advantage of our increasingly interconnected world to expand their illicit enterprises ... . We would only be able to effectively combat this broadening range of criminal activity through concerted, strategic and collaborative cooperation at a global level."

He said this was evident in how the country has been working with international partners in the fight against multilateral crime, which includes the deadly lottery scam, the gun trade, cybercrime, and human trafficking.

He told the summit that Jamaica's geographical location and the propensity for smugglers to use Jamaica's territorial waters as a trans-shipment point in the distribution of drugs and other contraband is playing a significant role in the nation's crime problem.

"Of course, our geographical position along the main drug transit routes between the major cocaine-producing and consuming countries also factor in our crime situation," Montague said.

In explaining that Jamaica's crime problem was as a result of seeds planted many years ago, Montague warned that success in defeating the issue will not happen overnight.

"What will bring success is an increase in public trust, a partnership with our communities, respect for people's rights, less corruption, stemming the flow of our youth into gangs, use of technology, a calm and informed citizenry, and strong leadership. This administration, my ministry, is providing that leadership," he noted.


Sharing accomplishments


Former Colombian National Police Chief Rosso Serrano has shared how his country dismantled two of its most powerful drug cartels 20 years ago through a disciplined and patriotic police force.

Contrastingly, former New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly emphasised the importance of collaborating with the entire community, as well as with other countries.

The NYPD used information from housing departments, social media and schools, and joined with parents.

"The foundation of our gang strategy was intelligence gathering and analysis," Kelly said, and this led to a 38 per cent decrease in New York City murders from 2010 until the end of 2013.

Throughout the rest of the summit, the guests and experts from different nations strategised on how intelligence could best be distributed between individuals, regions, and nations to weaken organised crime.

- Melinda Renuart